عنوان مقاله [English]
In today's fast-paced urban lifestyle, individuals are increasingly exposed to heightened stress. Stress can give rise to a multitude of physical and mental health issues. The presence of green spaces within urban environments significantly impacts residents' overall quality of life. Beyond environmental advantages, green spaces offer citizens substantial health benefits, particularly in reducing stress and alleviating mental strain. This research pursues a practical objective and adopts an exploratory and descriptive-analytical approach. The primary aim of this study is to investigate various factors contributing to stress reduction in small-scale district parks. The research instrument employed is a 45-item questionnaire structured in accordance with the content objective table derived from theoretical and documentary research. Factor analysis was utilized to validate the data, and the Cronbach's alpha coefficient was computed. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test results indicated the sample size's adequacy, while Bartlett's Test of Sphericity affirmed that the data could be subjected to factor analysis. Employing the principal component analysis extraction method, an exploratory factor analysis revealed eight distinct factors as sociability, participation, readability, responsiveness, sense of belonging, attractiveness, variety, and security. Notably, the sociability factor explained more than 12% of the factors influencing park stress reduction. Landscape designers should consider these factors, and urban open space decision-makers should evaluate them in their plans, ultimately equipping cities with landscapes that play a more substantial role in mitigating the stress experienced by their inhabitants. Future studies should explore the intricate connections between these factors, paving the way for the creation of urban landscapes with greater role in improving the quality of life
The global population has been experiencing rapid growth, especially in developing countries, leading to an increased disconnect from natural environments. The fast-paced urban lifestyle has contributed to elevated stress levels, which can result in various physical and mental health ailments. Air pollution, noise, and a lack of restorative environments are more profound in cities than rural areas. This condition leads to stress symptoms in a significant portion of urban populations. Because urbanization is predicted to double over the next 30 years, stress will most probably increase in city dwellers.
Urban greenery is crucial in enhancing the overall quality of life, contributing to improved city climates, and offering spaces for social activities and leisure. In addition to their environmental benefits, green spaces provide substantial health advantages, such as stress reduction, and offer opportunities for daily interaction with nature. Studies have demonstrated that when people are psychologically stressed or fatigued, they recover faster in natural areas than in urban environments. Although consensus exists about the positive health benefits of urban green spaces, more knowledge is needed about the mechanisms behind why and how green spaces reduce stress. The present study focuses on small urban public parks, specifically on how they should be designed to promote a potential for psychological restoration. This study aims to identify the key factors responsible for reducing stress in small-scale urban parks, which have been established by transforming underused and abandoned site parks to meet the growing demand for green and recreational spaces in response to urbanization.
This research has a practical objective and employs an exploratory and descriptive-analytical approach. The primary research tool is a 45-item questionnaire based on a content objective table derived from theoretical and document studies. The study's sample comprises students from Shahid Beheshti University and Shahid Rajaee Tarbiat University who frequent small local parks around their campuses, including Negin Park, Golrizan Park, Golestan 1 Park, and Shabanlu Park in Tehran's Districts 1 and 4. The study's sample size encompasses 210 participants, and data collection was facilitated through the distribution of online surveys via social networks. Data validation was performed through factor analysis, and Cronbach's alpha coefficient was computed.
Results and discussion
The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin test affirmed the adequacy of the sample size (KMO=0.814), and Bartlett's Test of Sphericity indicated that the data was suitable for factor analysis. After rotation, the data analysis revealed 13 significant factors contributing to stress reduction in small urban parks, accounting for approximately 70.10% of the overall variance. Following Varimax rotation, eight primary factors were identified. Sociability, with an eigenvalue of 5.569 and a variance percentage of 12.376, emerged as the most influential component in stress reduction. Sociability denotes versatile spaces that support multiple daily activities and social interactions. The second factor, participation, characterized by a specific value of 2.861 and a variance percentage of 6.357, reflects people's engagement in park spaces and their environmental impact. The third factor, readability, displayed a variance percentage of 5.773 and a specific value of 2.647, encompassing physical environmental qualities and human perception. The fourth factor, environmental responsiveness, with a variance percentage of 5.709 and an eigenvalue of 2.569, provides settings to meet physiological and psychological needs. The fifth factor, sense of belonging, with a variance percentage of 4.838 and a specific value of 2.177, highlights the relationship between humans and their environment, influenced by physical attributes and social activities. Attractiveness, diversity, and security had variance percentages of 4.827, 4.255, and 4.219, with specific values of 2.172, 1.915, and 1.899, respectively. These factors encompass spatial appeal, variation, and safety, all contributing to an enhanced quality of life in urban areas. The spatial structure and elements, such as adequate nighttime lighting, readability, and sociability, can foster a sense of security and stress reduction.
Urban parks have many functions and benefits. These functions and benefits are essential for improving life quality in urban areas. With the ongoing growth of urbanization and the resulting rise in stress levels, it is crucial to address the factors that alleviate stress in urban parks, especially small-scale ones. This study has identified the principal elements contributing to stress reduction in small parks, providing valuable insights for landscape architects and designers to enhance the effectiveness of green open spaces in mitigating stress. The research findings, including factors like readability and attractiveness, are consistent with those of other researchers like Kaplan. Future studies should explore the intricate connections between these factors in greater depth, paving the way for creating urban landscapes with a more pronounced role in stress reduction and improved quality of life.
There is no funding support.
Authors contributed equally to the conceptualization and writing of the article. All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work declaration of competing interest none.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.